The Past in Perspective
Retail Price to Students:$89.95 (04)
DescriptionIdeal for introduction to archaeology and world prehistory courses, The Past in Perspective: An Introduction to Human Prehistory, Fifth Edition, is an engaging and up-to-date chronological introduction to human prehistory. Kenneth L. Feder introduces students to "the big picture"--the grand sweep of human evolutionary history--presenting the human past within the context of fundamental themes of cultural evolution. Written in a refreshingly accessible voice, this narrative of human prehistory personalizes the past and makes it relevant to today's students.
Using a consistent chapter format--Prelude, Chronicle, Issues and Debates, and Case Study Close-up--Feder helps students master both what we know and what is still being debated about the complex story of the human past. Each chapter also includes an overview; a timeline of events, maps pinpointing locations of sites discussed, site lists with page references, a chapter summary, key terms (defined in the glossary at the back of the book), and suggested reading lists.
New to This Edition
* Updated information about early hominin finds, including Ardipithecus (Chapter 3), Homo floresiensis (Chapter 4), Sima del Elefante Cave in Spain (Chapter 4), the reconstruction of the Neandertal genome (Chapter 5), and the spectacular array of artifacts recovered at Hohle Fels Cave in Germany (Chapter 6)
* New information on methodology, such as strontium isotype analysis for tracing geographic sources (Chapter 2), molecular archaeology (Chapter 5), and forensics (Chapter 1)
* New information and a summary that updates our understanding of the peopling of the Americas and Australia (Chapter 7)
* New chapter (8) "After the Ice: The Food-Producing Revolution"--a combined and streamlined version of Chapters 8 and 9 of the Fourth Edition--with new information about China and the domestication of the horse, as well as the complex at Gobeckli Tepe in Turkey
* New information on the Olmec and the recent excavation at Stonehenge (Chapter 9)
* A reorganization and updating of Chapters 10 and 11, with significant new material on China
* A greatly expanded discussion of the roots of complexity in Mesoamerica, South America, aboriginal North America, and sub-Saharan Africa (Chapters 12-14)
"The quality of the prose, Feder's ability to humanize and personalize the material without losing its scientific rigor, and the balance between global coverage and a clear emphasis on a selection of essential topics--all are reasons I have used this text for years, and I intend to keep using it."--Douglas Bamforth, University of Colorado
"I like the use of the first-person, and I think many undergraduate students will relate well to this style of writing. I also like how The Past in Perspective focuses on issues and debates within the field and encourages students to think for themselves. It is up-to-date, easy to read, and quite comprehensive."--Dean Wheeler, Glendale Community College
About the Author(s)
Kenneth L. Feder is Professor of Anthropology at Central Connecticut State University. He is the author or coauthor of several books, including Linking to the Past: A Brief Introduction to Archaeology, Second Edition (OUP, 2007); Frauds, Myths, and Mysteries: Science and Pseudoscience in Archaeology (2010); and Human Antiquity: An Introduction to Physical Anthropology and Archaeology (2006).